The City calendar is always bursting with things to see, do and experience. And this week is no different. Visitors to the area can expect to check out a whole host of festivals, exhibitions, films and music performances as the City finally heats up. These are the top events in the City of London this week.
The remarkable achievements and legacy of 16-century merchant and financier Thomas Gresham are often overlooked. He managed to serve four Tudor monarchs, while keeping his head, and making money. When he died, he was widely reputed to be the wealthiest man in Europe. Gresham’s Will of 1575 established his most enduring legacy; Gresham College. This exhibition celebrates the quincentenary of his birth, and coincides with the release of a major new biography by Tudor historian Dr John Guy.
Guildhall Library Aldermanbury EC2V 7HH
Austrian choreographer Willi Dorner brings an imaginative pop-up performance to the City. A group of colourfully-dressed local dancers, performers and free runners will travel along a predetermined route, intertwining and stacking their bodies in doorways, arches and alleyways.
13 & 14 June, free
Starting at 1 Principal Place EC2A 2BA
The London Symphony Orchestra invites people to bring their picnics and enjoy the sunshine with live music on the front lawn of LSO St Luke’s – a perfect break from the office and great for families. With a variety of music styles from across the globe, there’s something for everyone. You don’t need to book in advance, simply turn up on the day. Check out the upcoming events online to find the best one which suits you.
21 June until 19 July, 1.15pm-2pm, free
LSO St Luke’s, 161 Old St EC1V 9NG
From lost rivers to underground railways, deep shelters to burial grounds, the sprawling network of tunnels and spaces under London are a subject of fascination and fear. Under Ground London digs into the collections at London Metropolitan Archives and reveals what lies beneath the Capital, presenting original documents, maps, images and films that record the development of the subterranean city. You won’t believe what lies right beneath your feet here in London.
London Metropolitan Archives, 40 Northampton Road EC1R 0HB
Join a celebration of Victorian culture to mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of the market’s architect, Sir Horace Jones. During the month-long festival, Leadenhall Market will host Victorian-inspired musical performances, craft workshops, entertainment, historical tours, and more. Everything from circus performers and magicians to poets and storytellers will be found in the famous Victorian marketplace.
Until 20 June, free
Leadenhall Market Gracechurch Street EC3V 1LT
Be transported into exhilarating dream experiences by Studio Go Go. Four virtual reality swing adventures, in iconic locations in the City, will offer riders a different sensation of flight. Volo celebrates 500 years of the creations of Leonardo Da Vinci, and is inspired by his fabulous flying machines, studies of flight, and pioneering work on perspective.
18-22 June, 11am-7pm, free
Various locations around the City
Crackling with intensity, this triumphant spectacle directed by Ivo van Hove depicts the disintegration of a society, undone through a venomous alliance. Luchino Visconti’s screenplay follows a family of German industrialists – the corrupt and debauched Essenbeck clan. With echoes of Greek and Shakespearean tragedy but with unsettling parallels today, the Essenbecks’ deepening collusion with the nascent Nazi regime puts them on a perilous path to destruction.
19-25 June, 7.45-9.55pm, tickets £16-50 (plus booking fee)
Barbican Centre Silk Street EC2Y 8DS
This spectacular outdoor show by Italian company Teatro dei Venti brings Captain Ahab’s ship and his obsessive search for revenge to the heart of the City of London. With ingenious staging, theatre, dance, circus and music, this timely reinvention of Melville’s classic novel explores themes of migration and the fear of the unknown. Performers will build an enormous ship before your eyes before transforming it into something totally different.
22 June, 8pm, free
Guildhall Yard EC2V 5AE
Explore London above and below the ground, from Roman to modern times at the Guildhall Art Gallery. Inspired by the remains of London’s Roman Amphitheatre and the Architecture of London exhibition, you and your family will help create your very own art installation based on the architecture and engineering of London. There will be ongoing activities throughout the day as well as historical storytelling and a family trail for extra learning and outdoor fun.
22 June 11am-4pm, free (no booking necessary)
Guildhall Art Gallery, Guildhall Yard EC2V 5AE
Guildhall Yard hosts a regular lunch market with more than 20 stalls serving up mouth-watering dishes from around the world. From Greek wraps to American burgers, Japanese dumplings to Ethiopian vegan cuisine, there is something for everyone to enjoy. If you still have room for dessert, there are also plenty of sweet treats on offer. Ditch the packed lunch, leave the office and get out into the fresh air.
26 June, 12noon-2.30pm
Guildhall Yard EC2V 5AE
MUSIC / London Wall Place Summer Music Series
The London Wall Place Partnership are hosting their second music festival, celebrating the great musicians based in the City of London. Taking place from 10-13 June, the four-day series of concerts includes world class performances by the London Symphony Orchestra and musicians from Guildhall School of Music & Drama set amongst the lush gardens and installations in the middle of the Square Mile. Bring your own picnic hamper and blankets (still hoping for good weather) before finding a place on the lawns to enjoy all the live music and summertime frivolity.
London Wall Place EC2Y 5AU
Find your happy place in Guildhall Yard with therapeutic yoga sessions under the sun (at least we are hoping for good weather). Instructors from the luxury gym, Another Space, will lead you through your asanas while you connect with the outdoors and the soundtrack of the City waking or heading home for the day.
26 June, 5.30 – 6.15pm, free
Guildhall Yard EC2V 5AE
ART / RIBA Summer Installation
The Royal Institute of British Architects is putting on three different shows to coincide with the London Festival of Architecture’s theme of boundaries. Playing the Picturesque is an interactive installation exploring the boundaries between virtual and physical space. The Walk the Line exhibition focuses on the seven cities that initiate the distributed border through Mexico, exploring how the movement of migrants affects the environment of the territory they navigate. And Above and Beyond is a new installation by etcetera studio that abstracts the forms and ideas of Lutyens’ Cenotaph. Any architecture lover should add these free to view installations to their summer events checklist.
Until 7 September
66 Portland Place W1B 1AD
London’s cityscape has inspired visiting and resident artists for over four centuries. From vast panoramas to everyday views, this major new exhibition depicts the Capital from a range of vantage points, reflecting the rich diversity of its buildings. The exhibition includes over 80 works from the City Corporation’s extensive collection, as well as loans from major public and private collections.
Until 1 December, tickets £10
Guildhall Art Gallery EC2V 5AE
Lead image by Studio Go Go